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Netherlands: Pilot Program to Receive and Accommodate Trafficking Victims

(July 1, 2010) The Dutch Ministry of Justice, together with the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, officially launched a pilot program on June 23, 2010, for the reception and accommodation of human trafficking victims, by opening 50 new facilities (40 for female victims, 10 for males) in protected, secret locations throughout the Netherlands. The new places will augment the existing municipal reception facilities for the victims. The pilot program is scheduled to last two years, until the summer of 2012. It is jointly funded by the two ministries, with an outlay of €4 million (about US$4.9 million) for the extra reception capacity.

The immediate purpose of the Categorical Reception of Human Trafficking pilot program is to remedy a shortage of adequate places for the reception and accommodation of the victims. More broadly, the Ministry of Justice believes that the pilot, by enabling victims “to find peace and to (dare to) file a report with the police against those who have exploited them … will increase the willingness to report matters to the police and will thus simplify the investigation and prosecution of the offenders.” (Press Release, Dutch Ministry of Justice, Hirsch Ballin Opens Reception Facility for Victims of Human Trafficking (June 23, 2010),

The funds will be distributed among three organizations in the Netherlands experienced in handling the reception of vulnerable groups of people. According to the Ministry of Justice, the primary goal of reception of these victims is to stop the exploitation. “In addition, the victims receive individual assistance in order to determine what would be the best follow-up step for them: moving on to another reception facility, moving out to a more independent form of living or returning to the country of origin.” (Id.)